KINGMAN, AZ (May 15, 2020) –The Mohave County Emergency Management Officer has determined that a fire emergency exists in the county and Board of Supervisors Chairman Jean Bishop has signed a county proclamation specifically imposing “a prohibition on open fires, campfires, and permissible consumer fireworks on private and public lands in unincorporated areas of Mohave County.”
The ban became effective at 8am, Friday, May 15, 2020. It will stay in effect until “the Emergency Management Officer issues a written determination that an emergency condition warranting an Outdoor Fire and Permissible Consumer Fireworks Prohibition no longer exists within the county.”
County Risk and Emergency Management Department Director Byron Steward says “the ban is due to the very high fire danger caused by extremely dry vegetation, high fuel loads brought on by winter rains, and extremely dry conditions that have worsened because of recent temperatures and winds. There is an additional problem that has not been present before. Steward says, “the potential impact of a major fire response involving evacuations that would place first responders and evacuees at increased risk of contracting COVID-19.” Steward notes, “we have had fires in the last few weeks that have immediately threatened nearby residences and which our firefighters were only able to contain in the nick of time. Our goal is to prevent open fires from causing these extremely dangerous situations.”
Steward strongly encourages county residents to be constantly on alert to these dangerous fire conditions, respect the prohibitions in effect now, and take all precautions to avoid accidentally igniting any type of vegetation fire. Besides open fire and fireworks ignitions, many fires are ignited on long roadways due to improper disposal of smoking materials.
Violations of the prohibitions are considered Class 2 misdemeanors subject to fines up to $750 and/or terms of imprisonment not to exceed 4 months. The prohibitions are expected to be strictly enforced.
The following fires are exempt from the Outdoor Fire Prohibition enacted pursuant to the Proclamation:
1. Fires set or permitted by any public officer, federal, state or local, in the performance of the officer’s official duties.
2. Fires set or permitted by the State Entomologist or Mohave County agricultural agents for the purpose of disease and pest prevention.
3. Fires set or permitted by the United States, the State of Arizona, or any federally-recognized Indian tribe, or any of their respective departments, agencies or political subdivisions for the purpose of fire prevention or control, or watershed rehabilitation or control through vegetative manipulation.
4. Fires permitted by the Emergency Management Officer or designee. The conditions of the permit, including permitted dates and the nature of the burning shall be clearly stated on any such permit issued.
5. Fires fueled by propane or charcoal.
CONTACT: Byron Steward, Risk and Emergency Management Department Director: 928-753-0739.